In-person lectures begin September 24.

North Central Michigan College’s popular Luncheon Lecture series will resume in an in-person format on September 24, 2021.  A variety of topics will be featured, including experimental aircraft, local law enforcement’s changing role, rural broadband, weather phenomena, a next-generation telescope, and changes in American politics.  

All hour-long programs will be held at noon on Fridays in the Library Conference Center.  Masks are required in all indoor settings, regardless of individuals’ vaccination status.  The attendance fee is $15 and includes a lunch buffet served at 11:30 a.m.  Pre-registration is required at 

  • September 24 – Build Your Own Airplane?: Lou Seno Jr. built and flew three experimental airplanes with his father many decades ago.  Today, he is on the board of directors of the Experimental Aircraft Association, an international organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wisc., which recently brought together more than 600,000 people from 66 countries to share their love of aviation.  Lou will help us all get motivated to pound a few rivets, stretch some fabric over handmade wings, and slip the surly bonds of Earth. 
  • October 8 – The Changing Roles of Local Law Enforcement: The sheriff’s department still patrols the roads and runs the jail, but much has changed in recent years.  Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin will give an overview of the many new duties we expect our sworn officers to carry out in an era of heightened exposure and stress.
  • October 22 – Rural Broadband: A century ago, rural electric cooperatives were created to bring electricity to areas that large electric power companies considered too uneconomical to serve. Today, history is repeating itself, except with broadband.  Julie Bailey of Great Lakes Energy will explain how her company’s subsidiary, Truestream, is bringing the internet to rural areas across northwest Michigan and how it is changing rural life.   
  • November 12 – Storms, Sun, Snow, and a Little Smoke: Patrick Bak, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service Gaylord office, will review the weather phenomena of summer 2021 and offer some clues as to what to expect during the winter ahead.
  • November 19 – The Next Generation Telescope: Bryan Shumaker, adjunct professor of astronomy at Oakland University and NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, will explain the new James Webb Space Telescope, what it does, and how it works—in simple terms.  Scheduled for launch on October 31, the Webb is planned to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope as NASA's flagship astrophysics mission.  In his spare time, Dr. Shumaker specializes in urology at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital. 
  • December 10 – Changes in American Politics: Why do some big changes in our society succeed—acceptance of same-sex marriage and the civil rights movement, for example—while others, like Prohibition and the Equal Rights Amendment, fail?  Is it timing, tactics, or leadership?  Scott LaDeur, Ph.D., professor of political science at North Central Michigan College, will offer his analysis of the forces behind the shifting tides in American life.

North Central Michigan College is an open-door community college based in Petoskey, with additional locations offering classes and services in Cheboygan and Gaylord.  North Central’s mission is to provide exceptional, accessible, relevant higher education of and for the community.  North Central is an Achieving the Dream Leader College with a designation of Veteran Friendly Bronze by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.  For more information, visit

For more information:
Christy Lyons
Director, Corporate and Community Education